As I stray from my blog post challenge for this post, I am so emotionally affected (in a good way) by what an amazing experience this has been that I can’t type fast enough or get all of the details out quick enough!!!
For anyone reading this, I want this to go WAY past my Blog and Facebook page……I want to circulate it BIG TIME. So if you’re willing to repost on your Blog or Tweet it to your billions of followers and/or know of any organization or news outlet that I should forward this to, I will! You can, PLEASE!!! I want this story to get out!
Okay, enough with the teasers and the lead-in……….I’ll just start at the beginning.
Last month before the holidays I got to see, hold and play with my friend Lindsay’s iPad mini, and from the moment I held it in my hand I was OBSESSED. I couldn’t stop thinking about it. Much like I had been with the iPad 2 after playing with Alana’s. Being fiscally responsible, which is something new for me, I knew that I could not go and buy a new iPad for no reason, and I certainly didn’t NEED 2. I’m just one person. I loved the compact size of the mini, and since I take mine with me everywhere, this was going to make my bag lighter, and it’s easier to hold and use/read when feeding Brady. I didn’t NEED it, I WANTED it, but I was able to make enough of an argument to myself that I put my plan in motion!
So, as I have done before when there is something I knew I WANTED but don’t NEED, i decided that I would put my iPad 2 for sale on Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace and, depending on if and when I sold it, I would only THEN go and buy my iPad mini. It sold in the blink of an eye after receiving many inquiries shockingly enough! (why would someone buy a used iPad at the same amount they could pay for a new one at the store will never make sense to me but this is what happened!)
I went online and ordered my iPad mini and could not have been more excited for MY Hanukkah gift I had bought myself.
It arrived via mail in an extremely timely fashion. I opened it up and set it up and was IN LOVE!! I had ordered an Apple “Smart Cover” since that’s all they were selling at the time for it (don’t get me started, I call it the stupid cover, but that’s neither here nor there in this story!).
I used the iPad mini right away, but I’ll admit I was extra careful with it since it was smaller it seemed more delicate. And it was my new toy and I’m always extra careful with new electronics. I then went to Best Buy and bought a Belkin, notebook style case that would protect it in my purse and provide some padding that the smart cover does not.
Then I saw Lindsay’s mini again and lo and behold, Otterbox had come out with an iPad mini Defender case, more streamlined and less cumbersome than any of the others……and I own A LOT of them, more than any one person should! And I’ve given them as gifts a number of times……you all know how much I swear by Otterbox!
So, right while I was with Lindsay, I went online and ordered myself a black Otterbox Defender for my new iPad mini. I was VERY excited.
Saturday morning at 9am I get woken up by a giant thud on the front door and the dogs going bananas! I wait a few minutes to wake up and then open the door and there it was, my mini Otterbox!!!
I took it inside, I cleaned off the screen of my iPad mini and then got the Defender ready to put on. (For anyone who’s ever used an Otterbox, especially the Defender, once you’ve put them on, you are far better off leaving them be!) Well, as I put mine on, I heard a crackle and snap. At first I didn’t think anything about it, but then I saw cracks all over the screen and I was so upset. I thought I had just cracked my new case and now I was going to have to go through the trouble of sending it back for a new one and then waiting for it to arrive again. What a pain.
Oh no, Traci didn’t crack the case. THE ENTIRE iPAD MINI SCREEN WAS SHATTERED. Literally DEMOLISHED. I’d had it only 3 weeks and it was completely unusable. I was devastated. But, to be honest, since I’ve never had a single problem with any of my iPhones, iPods or iPad’s before, nor any of my Otterbox’s, I could not figure out how this would happen to me! Someone who didn’t know what they were doing, okay, but like I said, I own more Otterbox Defenders than any one person should, it’s an addiction!!
By now it was almost 10am and the mall would be opening but I didn’t want to deal with a mall on a freezing cold Saturday when it would be packed, I’d simply wait and go in the evening before closing when it’s much less busy. There was not one part of me concerned that Apple wouldn’t live up to their reputation and take care of it and I’d be leaving with my replaced iPad mini within moments that evening. So I went about my day.
Well, Apple was an AWFUL experience. They would not do anything for me. Even with Apple Care. They told me that it appeared to be an outside shattering and Apple Care doesn’t cover that. Which is NOT the sales job they give you when sell you on Apple Care.
Anyone who’s heard this story, like myself, believed that the $99 for Apple Care paid to replace your Apple product NO MATTER WHAT HAPPENED TO IT. In fact, my boss and several others have said they remember the words, “your kid could throw it across the room and we’d still replace it”. WHICH ACCORDING TO THEM AT THE STORES IS NOT THE CASE AT ALL.
To say I’m disappointed in Apple right now is the understatement of the century. They will be receiving a copy of this post, probably formulated as a letter, but, for a company that prides itself on it’s products and their customer service, they get a big fat FAIL for this situation.
As I tried to keep calm in the middle of this busy, hot, Apple Store Saturday evening, I brought up Apple Care, I brought up the fact it was only 3-weeks old, I brought up that it was delivered by mail and how did I know that it wasn’t ready to crack from improper packaging and shipping and something that happened that morning was the final straw. I just was speechless. (I know, me, speechless??).
I have had 3 iPods, 5 iPhones, and 3 iPads, I have never had a problem before that wasn’t resolved how could this GINORMOUS problem be unfixable by Apple?? I had the iPad mini 3-weeks, and the “genius” told me that it didn’t matter if it was 3-weeks, 3-months or 3-years but he could tell from looking at the shattering and cracks that there were 3-4 points of contact on the outside that caused the shattering and that wasn’t covered. Now, let’s be honest, how could your kid throwing it across the room be covered but this fiasco not?
I was livid, disappointed and angry. I left there with the ONLY alternative offered was to pay $220 to replace the iPad, Apple would kindly offer it to me at 2/3 the cost of what I paid for it THREE WEEKS AGO, that was their only resolve. Oh, and my favorite part?? Had I wanted to pay that and take the new one, they couldn’t help me until Monday, “this is a busy store and we are all booked up with appointments until then.”
Sorry Apple, but your customer service has plummeted and you are getting way too big for your britches!
I immediately left the mall with my shattered iPad mini, and remembered this glass repair shop that replaces the glass in just a few hours while you wait. No sending it in. No worrying about if you’ll get it back, and it was just down the street on Ventura Blvd, it’s called The Repair Stop and this is what they do all day long for a living. They were awesome when I went there but unfortunately the cost to replace just the glass was $170. I decided if I was going to spend money to fix this, I might as well spend the extra $50 to have a brand new iPad mini rather than just replaced glass on the broken one since again, it was a 3-week old product.
So, as of 6pm Saturday evening, my plan was to go in on Monday and buy my new iPad, unwillingly, but, if this was my only resolve, this was something I REALLY wanted, it was a bad, unfortunate accident but like my cousin reminded me, anything that can be replaced with money, it’s just money. Which IS true, but, it was the principle at how TERRIBLE I felt I was treated by Apple in the store and that the information they had given me, to this moment now 5 days later, was incorrect and a scam. (I will be checking in with Apple corporate today to discuss).
Monday, came, and reality hit, I didn’t have the funds to make the replacement that day, so I moved my “genius” appointment to this upcoming weekend figuring I’d live a week without it and at least I knew after this week I’d have my new one.
But in the meantime, I decided to make a phone call. I decided to contact Otterbox. I swear by their products, in fact, I’ve written other blog posts on them and like I said I own way too many of their products! I had no idea what kind of customer service they would offer since I’d never contacted them before in my life other than to order online, but, I decided it was worth a shot, and if nothing else, my engineer friend mentioned that the cracking when I put the case on could’ve been because in making the new more streamlined case for the mini, it may indeed be TOO tight and caused it to crack under the pressure of applying the case and that they needed to know if their product was flawed. The hint to me was the 3-4 points of contact, there are 4 snaps to attach the front and back of the case to your iPad.
Most of Monday went by in a fog, but in the early afternoon I sat down and decided to contact Otterbox. I got through to a human being EXTREMELY fast for such a big company and the support person helping me was the nicest guy ever. He listened to me explain ALL OF THE ABOVE in detail and agreed we did not understand WHAT Apple’s issue was considering they sell their protection plans based on the fact they replace them no matter what. (Which again I plan to call Apple today and challenge, because too many people are under that same impression which means either I was scammed by an over zealous “genius” or we are ALL misinformed as to what the actual insurance coverage levels are on Apple products, the first 30-day coverage, the first 90-day coverage, the first year coverage that all come with your product as well as the $99 Apple Care that I’m beginning to believe is a sham completely and we’ve all fallen for it.
Colin, my Otterbox customer service rep and I spoke for about 45-minutes. He did put me on hold one time so he could talk to his supervisor. He admitted they had no other recorded incidents of this nature, but what he and his supervisor wanted me to do was to please take as many pictures of the shattered iPad mini as well as the case (that incidentally had nothing wrong with it) and to email them to them. He promised me that he would contact me tomorrow, which was Tuesday. I sent off 15 pics to him, and honestly, never expected to hear back but felt like I had done what I could to try not to spend this extra $220 + tax (i mean, my 16GB mini was going to be $600 by the end of this fiasco and I was sick every time I thought about it!).
Yesterday, Tuesday was a busy-ish day around here and honestly I was just getting my job done, kinda forgetting about the fact I had yet to hear back from my friend Colin at Otterbox.
Here is why I am taking the time to write this endless post and will be doing EVERYTHING IN MY POWER to get this story out there. Not only did Colin call me back, he got my VM, left a message for me to email him what time would be good for him to call me back, they cannot take incoming calls, but that he wanted to follow-up with me. I was already saying WOW in my head over THAT. Yes, it gets better.
He called me back EXACTLY to the minute the time I said I’d be available to answer PST (he is on EST but works late hours I guess because we spoke at 545pm PST last night).
He proceeds to tell me that never before has he heard of them doing this, but that he could see in the computer that I have certainly bought A LOT of their products and that I had shown a great “case” (no pun intended) for the Defender having shattered my iPad mini upon putting it on, so, THEY, OTTERBOX, will cover the cost TO REPLACE MY iPAD MINI. I was SPEECHLESS. And overcome with emotion. Relief. Gratitude. And mostly, SHOCK that this “little company”, Otterbox, in comparison, was taking AMAZING care of me to make sure I was satisfied and happy and that my iPad mini got replaced and Apple didn’t give a shit.
So that’s my story. Maybe I oversold it, I’m sorry if I did. But Apple has become the 100lb gorilla and everyone is always talking about how amazing their customer service is, and not only will I be questioning them today through their corporate customer service, I will make sure that THEY are made aware that while Apple and their “geniuses” wouldn’t do anything, OTTERBOX was sending me a check in the mail to cover the cost of replacing my shattered iPad mini even though they believed Apple Care should’ve covered it and they couldn’t prove that for sure their product is what shattered it, but, fact was I had a shattered iPad, Apple wasn’t doing anything and they wanted me to be happy with them. OH, boy am I happy with them!!
THAT my friends, is the kind of company I want to do business with and that I want to spread the word about.
Otterbox Otterbox Otterbox both because of the AMAZING job they do protecting your products but also because they offer unparalleled customer service that left me speechless (STILL!!!).
I WILL be doing a follow-up to this post after a call to Apple regarding Apple Care because as of this moment I call SHAM and think that we all deserve our money back for the $99 we’ve spent if what I was told at the Apple Store regarding what it covers is true. And if it’s not true, it seems they need to be educating their sales people better because OTTERBOX should not be providing better service and better care than Apple. ~ traci xoxox